April 2, 2013
Wayne Allen and Bob Strickley
PDT Staff Writers
As a result of a social media bombardment over the weekend and a false report alleging animal abuse in Eifort, the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office is perusing the possibility of charges against those thought to have started the campaign.
“I’m going to check with our county prosecutor (Mark Kuhn) and see if (this person) may have committed a crime, we’ll be evaluating that,” said Scioto County Sheriff Marty Donini.
In a statement released by the Sheriff’s Department Tuesday, Chief Deputy Todd Miller said additional patrols were requested by the family owning the dog in question.
“The owner of the dog actually had to call the Sheriff’s Office over the weekend for extra patrols for fear retaliation from people driving up and down the highway and in and out of their driveway yelling and cussing at (the) family over the false allegations,” the release read.
According to Miller, officers have been to the residence where the animal abuse was accused on two occasions and have reported the dog in question to be in good spirits.
“We had an officer out over the weekend to check this dog. The dog had food, had water. We went back out today (Monday) and Captain Robert Woodford went out with a court appointed humane agent (who Miller declined to identify). The agent indicated the dog is not in distress. The dog was jumping around and was glad to see people,” Miller said. “The owner indicated the dog was a stray and came to them four or five weeks ago malnourished and beat up. These people are simply trying to get it nursed back to health.”
Miller said the dog had plenty of food and water and had a dog house. He described the dog as brown and of mixed breed.
“The humane agent said the dog was not in distress and it sounded like the owners are trying to do what all of these other people are trying to do — rescue it and save it,” Miller said.
As a result of the social medial campaign to bring attention to the alleged animal abuse, Donini said his office received hundreds of phone calls, e-mails and messages.
Donini said he sent about 75 e-mails replying to people asking about the alleged abused dog and what his office was doing about the situation.
“Each one of those e-mails contained something to the effect that we would be evaluating the circumstances. My e-mails implied that we were going to look at whether or not there was a criminal violation committed with what (that person) had done,” Donini said, speaking of the initial source of the social media barrage.
He said the charges would likely stem around a waste of government resources.
The situation reached a point that the County Sheriff’s Department was forced to shutdown its Facebook page.
“It got so bad we had to take our Facebook page down because people were posting crazy links, things that had nothing to do with these dogs,” Donini said. “We don’t encounter this very often, it’s very seldom, but whoever did this really went overboard and we really got bombarded.”
Donini said he would be taking his concerns to Kuhn in a meeting that has yet to be scheduled.
“It will be a sit-down meeting with him and us explaining what took place and what we know about the circumstances,” Donini said.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT. Bob Strickley can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 296, or email@example.com. For breaking news, follow Bob on Twitter @rjstrickleyjr.